Hypertensive Emergencies

  • Dilek K. Sowers
Part of the Current Clinical Practice book series (CCP)


Hypertensive emergencies and urgencies need prompt diagnosis and management because they may potentiate organ dysfunction and even lead to death if not appropriately treated (1-8). The goal of initial treatment in these patients is to obtain a safe and controlled reduction in blood pressure (BP) to a more physiologic, noncritical level, but not necessarily to a normotensive state. The initial examination should include careful fundoscopic, mental status, and cardiovascular evaluation. A true hypertensive emergency (e.g., malignant hypertension) is usually defined in the setting of a diastolic BP (DBP) >130 mmHg. This is especially true if it is accompanied by altered mental status papilledema, myocardial infarction (MI), pulmonary edema, evolving stroke, or a dissecting aneurysm (Table 40-1).


Mean Arterial Pressure Sodium Nitroprusside Severe Hypertension Acute Aortic Dissection Malignant Hypertension 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

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  • Dilek K. Sowers

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